After taking a Hypermedia Design course with Dr. Carrie Heeter, I was hired by her to work as a Senior Programmer and Multimedia Designer in the Communication Technology Lab. My first project, which began in the Spring of 1995, was to create a first-of-its-kind discovery learning CD-ROM which uses virtual travel, guides, and information retrieval technology to bring learners dynamic, situated learning experiences using the Virgin Islands as an interface to objective, subjective and discovered knowledge covering a broad range of environmental science topics and diverse expert perspectives.
Most environmental science textbooks draw examples from all over the world. They may write about endangered species in South America, drought and starvation in Africa, and destruction of wetlands in the Everglades. Instead, on this CD-ROM, key environmental science concepts are introduced through over 125 interrelated, in depth examples of species and ecosystem interactions and impacts of humans on the Virgin Islands. These islands provide an excellent microcosm of many worldwide environmental interactions.
Even though your local ecosystem is probably very different from the Virgin Islands, understanding ecosystem dynamics in Virgin Islands should prepare you to think about other ecosystems close by and around the world...
During this project I worked with Carrie Heeter and a talented team of artists, designers, and content experts. My tasks varied widely, I was the sole programmer on the project, creating both Macintosh and Windows versions of the CD-ROM, as well as many development tools that aided in the creation of the product. I also served as a content writer, photographer, videographer, knowledge engineer, and interface designer.
Many of the knowledge organization concepts and information retrieval technologies that serve at the heart of the project came from my masters project research, the Knowledge Encoding and Retrieval Tool.
VIEW THE WORK
The CD-ROM was slated to be a supplement to the popular environmental science textbook by Cummingham and Saigo, published by Wm. C. Brown. The project reached Beta status when Wm. C. Brown publishers was acquired by McGraw-Hill. Unfortunately, the project was canceled as a result of the change in management.